Four letter for your reading enjoyment.

Blog Entry #37: Visitors are not always welcome

Hey all!!!

I hope everything is going just fine at home as I make my weekly report... I cannot believe its Monday already... It feels like I just wrote one of these...

Week of suprises: We went to visit Rafaela, the lady with a shrine to Maria the size of a house... and she dismissed us. She did not seem like she wanted to... like she was sad to do it... like she was regretting it even before we left, so we asked her why.

She said that even though she really likes what we say and admires us for what we do, that she refuses to pray about the Book of Mormon because her son is training to be a priest in the Catholic Church... and he said that if she investigates the church further, that he will take it as if she is turning her back on HIM.

Suprising that she witheld that information until now... We had no idea... or we would have been more careful. All we could say to that was that we wished him luck in all his goals, and that we were happy that there were people like him that want to get closer to God in whatever way they know how... because alot of people in the world do not want anything to do with God. Its the second time I have contacted a womon whose son is in training to become a priest... There really is not anything tactful you can say to that as a missionary of another religion, except... SUERTE!

Also, there is a lady named Elva, who lives in our building that we have been trying to teach forever... She is, for lack of a better descriptor, a woman that is like a Argentine version of Nana (my grandma for those of you who do not know her), by the fact that she is well travelled, a bit of a socialite, and has that old grace that you wish people had in this day in age.

Well, Elva was moving from her apartment on the third floor to another on the ground floor because she could not deal with the stairs any longer, so we kept on insisting that we help her move, and this week, she finally let us... she had TONS of artwork and pictures (yet another indicator that she is like Nana) that she wanted us to carry downstairs one by one.

We eagerly voulunteered, and she was so touched by our service and our message about personal prayer, that after 7ish months of trying to get in and teach her... she let us put a return appointment to teach her more... We are really exited to teach her... We trade... she tells us stories about her travells in Greece or Egypt and we tell her about Joseph Smith... seems like a fair trade, eh?

Also, Maria de Pilar came to church again this sunday... we also found an old registro de enseñana for her and found that the missionaries had taught her un monton antes. When we went to teach her... she was really receptive... I think she knows its true... its just that she is a little scared of change ... if we can overcome it, she might be our next baptism. Fingers and arms crossed.

In other news that has nothing to do with missionary work whatsoever, with the fall coming on, we have had a litany of unwanted guests in our apartment from spiders to geckos to scorpions to a bug that I have never seen before. I am sending you pictures so you can meet all my new friends... just to warn you... everything is bigger in Argentina.

I love you much and miss you all un MONTON!
Hermana Tritsch

#38 All´s Fair in Love and Missionary Work -or- I DON´T SPEAK DUTCH!

Hola querida familia y amigos!

Lots of things to say that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, so I guess its time for a bullet-pointed letter...
• Earthquake in Chile or terremoto, as it is called here... we did not feel the earth shake here, but we are certainly feeling the aftereffects really strongly in the mission. My love and prayers go out to the family and friends and missionaries that are having a hard time getting in contact with each other because of the terrible earthquake in Chile... Our mission is about equal Chileans and Americans and we have got alot of freaked out missionaries that can´t talk to their parents... Presidente del Castillo gave them permission to call, but they are having alot of trouble getting through... the letter says that all the missionaries in Chile are accounted for and none of the Chapels fell, but some of the missionaries think that is a lie...

We DO know that the temple in Santiago still stands... thank goodness. Well, we are all praying for them and hope that they are able to get in contact and get back to work in tranquility.
• Back in Ituzaingo, we have found that love can be a key factor in missionary work. For example, Adriana, a Jovencita in our rama recently aquired a new NON MEMBER boyfriend, and Adriana´s freaked-out mother is basically forcing him to take the discussions if he is to be her boyfriend... I am not sure exactly how I feel about that, you really cannot force someone to come unto Christ... but there is not really much we can do about it...

Also, we have been working very hard with a less active family, familia Rotta. This family is really amazing, and after much work, we got Raquel, the mother, who got her boyfriend to come to church... The meta is that they can marry and he can baptize, and they can reactivate together... Seems to be working so far... he has quite a bit of interest and the whole family, from Grandma to the baby came to church on Sunday, and the rama (thankfully) welcomed them back warmly.

Another evidence that love is in the air is that we were recently put back in contact with Viviana, a woman who, back when I was with Hermana Schmutz, always welcomed us warmly when we were accompanied by Hermano Ojeda, but when we were alone was always very cold with us... Needless to say that she has a little bit of a crush on Hermano Ojeda... and maybe the other way around too... he gave us her name as a reference.
• We have been doing ALOT of divisions lately with the Jovencitas, they really like leaving with us and we can get ALOT more work done when we can split up and be in two places at once. We have been working extra hard with one girl named Roxana, everyone´s really worried about her because earlier this week, her sister found her with her wrists bleeding (yeah... really scary.) There really is not much by way of professional help here, so we are trying to do the best we can to keep her mind off of trying again. Presidente del Castillo would say that the best medicine is WORK, WORK, and MORE WORK... and for the time being it seems to be working. She always seems to be a little happier when she leaves with us so we are letting her whenever she wants to so she can feel wanted, loved, and we can keep a VERY watchful eye on her. Her mother is a little anxious when she leaves because she doesn´t want her wounds to reflect badly on the church, but really, the kind thing to do is let her do what makes her happy... and she´s actually getting pretty good at street contacting.
• On a lighter note, we had a really funny thing happen to us in Collectivo... we wanted to go to Posadas for P-day and bought tickets and got on the bus... with instruction that we could sit wherever we found space... We got on and found a TON of fair skinned people eyeballing us very closely... We went to sit down where we thought was space and all of a sudden we had a bus full of people talking and shouting at the same time and Hermana Casco looked at me in confusion, and I looked at her hoping it was some native tounge that she could somehow understand... Most tourists that come this way are from Germany and so I said... "Lo siento, no hablo aleman," and her muttered something and said hollandes (o sea, Dutch) and then I said, "no hablo hollandes tampoco!" and then the people turned to my companion... and started telling HER all sorts of things in this wierd language... and she looked at me all lost too... and then I had an idea.. "alguien puede hablar ingles?" and there was one man who could.

What happened was that we were about to sit in a seat where someone was sitting, but had left to go to the bathroom... We got everything figured out but it was a wierd chain of events... we are still laughing about it now...

Well, that´s about all there is for now, I love you and the church is true, and all that jazz...

Hermana Tritsch

PS Shout out to the activity day girls of the Newport ward... I got your lovely cards... I am writing you better, a real card, but I wanted to let you know I recieved them.

#39 How the Grinch Stole Stake Conference

WOW another week has flown by and now I am sitting here in the cyber writing you again. It is so wierd to think that I am going to hit my halfway mark in two days... I can´t believe it!!! The really sucky thing is that I am going to have to travel on my nine month mark... its extremely likely that it is my turn to go.... I am going to miss Ituzaingó.

My whole mission up to this point has been wrapped up in this little pueblito... everyone knows who I am... or at least recognize me for what I am. I feel like I am leaving home...

I got rather mixed up feelings about all of this... on one hand... yo siento como yo he golpeado cada puerta y I am getting a little cabin fever living so far away from the other missionaries, but, on the other hand... these MY gente. these are MY people. I have been worrying about them so long... its going to be hard to leave. I might cry.

I am exited to conocer otros lados. I think it will be good for me to get out of here, to meet new people and to apply what I have learned.

Meanwhile... I am trying my hardest to pump our area book full of investigators for the Hermana that will come... so she does not have to freak out too much when she gets here. Trying to find TONS of new investigators and rescuing antiguos that used to be really good investigators. We are having alot of success finding people to teach... the majority are fairly new investigators, so we don´t have much else, but at least the new hermana will have at least an idea of where to go. Especially because Hermana Casco, herself, is still learning her way around our HUGE area.

Yesterday was stake conference... and we had an almost disaster when Presidente Mohor told everyone that there would be a bus that would take us all there... the disaster came when Friday, he told us that kids would not be envited because there was only 19 places for a ward of 50ish...

Sunday came and three families came with their children, eager to go to stake conference. Now, if it were up to me... I would put a kid on every adult lap, cram them all in there, take other cars, whatever it takes, to make sure all who wanted to come got there... (we even went in normal, public bus to make room) But Presidente Mohor, started bajando la caña en todos for bringing their kids and sent them all home. in the end, by the judgement of Presidente Mohor, only 17 were worthy enough to go to stake conference... kind of cheap... especially because Presidente has a car and could have driven people.

So, we got to stake conference, and who was there? Presidente y Hermana del Castillo!! What a suprise... in his talk, el Bajó la caña en todos for not taking care of the missionaries and one another as well. Kinda ironic... don´t you think?

I have been fighting being sick for quite awhile and finally succumed to my eventual doom during stake conference. I had been fighting it all week took affect like a train wreck (even though I was taking medicine) and by the time I got back to Ituzaingó, I was so sick I could not walk straight, I had a fever, and Hermana Casco pretty much commanded that I go sleep, even though I wanted to go work. (Don´t judge... I got 3 days left in Ituzaingó and I did not want to waste them in the pension.)

But now I am better... pretty much living on cough drops and sudafed, but I am upright and breathing and thats always a good thing.

Well... my time to write is quickly running out, but I love you all and am thinking and praying for you... and, who knows? Maybe my next letter will be coming from another city.

Les quiero tanto.
Hermana Tritsch

#40 A Whole New World... A New Fantastic Point of View.

Hey everyone… TRANSFERRED!

My first transfer in Argentina… and I don´t get very far… I got transferred to POSADAS which is like the difference between St. George and Las Vegas. I am now working in Barrio LaValle… Same district, same zone as Ituzaingó. I am now working with Hermana Loria. She has 5 months in the mission and is from Mendoza, Argentina.
That makes me officially senior companion, too. I am really freaked out about that… lots of responsibility in an area I barely know.

The area and the ward are super awesome. Everyone is way supportive of la obra misional. They have experienced lots of success for it too. They have had 6 baptisms since January 1st… and we are scheduled to have two more by the end of March. A woman named Anamaria and another named Cintia… los dos son muy buenas.
Anamaria is the sister of Miriam Perego, the matriarch of a really awesome recent convert family… It’s almost positive that she is going to get into the water.
The other girl, Cintia, is the girlfriend of a member, Hugo Tau. She is really awesome and has a really firm testimony… but she has a lot of fear because her father is a priest, and don´t even know that she is taking the discussions. If we are right, then her father and mother are lying to themselves and to her, so it takes a lot of courage to continue with her fecha.

We have a lot faith that she will make it though.

In other news, Oscar Triay died about three days ago. I was already working in LaValle two days when he died, and I have no idea como esta Nora. I am sure that she is a wreck, and it makes me very sad that I can´t be there for her right now… even though I am so close. Maybe I can arrange for divisions or something so I can visit her…

Its stuff like this that makes me miss my Ituzaingó.

Well, I am to continue here… trying to learn the streets and the ropes quicker than lightning. The people here speak tons faster and have a lot more education than those that are in Ituzaingó, and it’s a whole new world for me in the mission field.

-Hermana Tritsch

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